The story of ‘uncommon’ Common Babbler!

Don’t go on its name…

Aaryan Bhalla
4 min readAug 2, 2022

We share our surroundings with millions of other microorganisms, which help in maintaining the ecosystem. Each and every being play a key role in the ecological system as these are also primary important on which all other living beings depend.

Birding… birding… and birding… Never ends!! The passion which carries on its way is usual now. Lifers do not increase continually, but still, you are pleased with which you get to… either resident or nor!

Saketri- The fields besides Sukhna, a satisfactory hotspot that never disappoints. Not far… always pleasures, That's all that I need. But, there was something that day… that triggered me to write this article, on the bird I just glanced at and had never seen before.
Saketri has rich long reeds and fields at the onset of monsoon. Otherwise, it provides Barren and fallow lands, long weeds beside roads,
That's why this offers a glimpse into the avian diversity and avifauna of the region!

The Exclusive Common Babbler, which is not common these days!!…

On July 9th, I explored the village’s countryside with my fellow birder. When a bird with a long tail straddled on the ground and passed by, that was quick to fly away. It was a Paddyfield Pipit! But, accidentally I corrected and was a rare- Common Babbler. It was probably the 4th record of the bird from the same area…

Yes, it is … The White throat and the black iris. Only click… so precious one :)

You may not find them much in and around Chandigarh because of the great habitat loss. It is located in dry areas of India, population distribution is in dry regions with sparse and low thorny scrub vegetation, rocky outcrops and boulders, stony hills, cultivation, semi-arid regions, and dry scrub.
Although, Jungle & Common Babblers are close cousins their preferred habitats are different. The Jungle Babblers can easily survive within our gardens & such surroundings, whereas the ‘Common’ is shy.

The Seven Sisters

Unlike jungle babbler, which has adapted well to city and countryside living, also to human population contrary to their name- “Jungle”. the common babbler actually is a reed (sarkanda) dweller. There is hardly any sarkanda and local thorny trees it was used to. But various reasons have been given…There has been no research really but this is the observation.


Clearing of scrub & light forests including hillocks & broken undulating landscapes all around us for agricultural (and housing) purposes has caused the loss of breeding & forgings habitat of the Common Babblers resulting in a massive drop in their population.

Most bird populations are affected by habitat thrashing, so they move on to areas with optimum facilities for them…

They forage very close to the scrub habitat & retreat into it when approached. (Unlike the Jungle which comes right up to you if you are sitting in your house lawn/ garden) Habitat destruction is the main reason for the moving of many bird species away from their native places where they were seen earlier, and lack of food due to competition from species such as Jungle Babblers- whereas, they have been all around now.

“It is not elusive either, we do try to spot it again. Regardless of what we perceive, the corners are no longer committed.”

These are us humans who are disturbing this for our greed, where we don’t know that world is standing on the verge of chaos… But, still, we are doing this. We have to do something!!…

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Aaryan Bhalla

Nature and birds Lover, Traveller, & musician..☺️☺️